Robots May Have Taken Over The Great Pokemon Democracy Experiment

Friday, February 21, 2014 - 02:30 PM

Earlier this week, I wrote about Twitch Plays Pokemon, an internet phenomenon which allows thousands of people online to jockey for control of a single character in a game of Pokemon Red. I said that Twitch Plays Pokemon was a metaphor for the messy democracy of the internet. If reports are to be believed, it may not be quite as democratic as I imagined.

There are two modes to Twitch Plays Pokemon - "anarchy" mode, where every input from every player is applied to the character on screen, and "democracy" mode, which allows players to vote on what commands are implemented. But according to a post on 4Chan today, it is looking like someone, or perhaps several someones, are using a bot army to control the game during democracy mode.

It's just another wrinkle in a story that continues to unfold slowly and weirdly. I wonder if the only way Twitch Plays Pokemon players will actually finish the game is by taking so long to actually make progress in the game that the throngs of people playing the game will dwindle to a number that can actually agree on moving forward. But anything could happen with this weird game of Pokemon.

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman. You can subscribe to our podcast here. You can follow our blog here. We’re also on Twitter, and we play Team Fortress 2 more or less constantly, so find us there if you like to communicate via computer games from six years ago.

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